I have a whole block of free time at work right now, and there is somehow nothing to say. I haven't gotten back to my big scary spreadsheet, so my big number thing isn't ready yet, and there's nothing I want to say about last night's game. I can't even post another Kovalwatch yet, because my last post was about him! It's so hard to be me.
There's nothing I want to say about last night's game because I don't want to put forward more effort than the Rangers did. Talk about sleeping through half a game. If we're honest, we didn't see a ton more effort than that in the home-and-home against the Islanders, but we won anyway, because it was just the Islanders. It took Prust's shorthanded goal to wake the Rangers up, and we proceeded to play an okay second half of a game, just not good enough to actually score any more goals.
It's technically true that we lost the game in the last 2:30, within which Ottawa finally took the lead and then sealed it with an empty netter, but we truly lost it in the first 30:00, during which we played flat hockey. The Frankenline of Avery, Christensen, and Gaborik just can't produce, due to it not making any sense. Gaborik is a good goal-scorer who can shoot the puck fast and hard, Christensen can make clever stick moves now and then, and Avery can chip the puck in deep, maintain possession, and win one-on-one battles. Individually, those are each useful, but no one on this line seems to ever know what anyone else on it is doing.
Dubinsky and Callahan have definitely taken a step back basically since Gaborik returned. Some of this is possibly mental: the pressure is no longer on them to step up and lead (only, it is, because Gaborik isn't actually going to win games by himself). I also wonder if some of it is due to the center rotation: there was some chemistry with Anisimov (though I don't necessarily disagree with the switch to Stepan). However, I'm sad to say a good deal of it is likely regression to the mean. I love Brandon Dubinsky, but he was never going to stay on the pace of 10 goals in 13 games.
Anyway, it's only one loss right now, and we shouldn't be running to the hills or anything, but it's time we started to see some real top-line production. Drury and Prospal can't come back soon enough. On them, word is that Drury has been skating in full equipment, passing but not yet shooting. There's some hope that he could return in 7-10 days. Prospal is also skating, but not yet in equipment (of course, there is still no timetable for him). It would really be nice to have these guys back, huh?